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10 UNDER 1K: Visual Artist Edwaffle

In this digital age, we can honestly say that numbers don’t mean a thing. Followers, plays, and reposts can all be purchased at the drop and nearly cost of a dime. Because of this, looking for your new favorite artists by only checking their follower count and not their content will cause you to overlook some of the most talented individuals. That’s why we started our 10 artists under 1k segment.

Get to know visual artist, Edwaffle below:

City you’re based in:
I currently reside in Princeton, FL but mostly operate in Miami.

How do you feel about the culture in your city?
I really think the culture is becoming quite progressive. Miami is starting to show it’s own unique voice in Art, Music, Fashion, etc… It’s also nice to see how those Art forms are starting to be more prominent in the night life. However, I think there are still some problems within, especially for emerging artists. Everyone is having events and although it’s super cool to have these opportunities, not all them usually value the Art (Performing and Visual) enough. You have times when the Visual artists are just kinda there in the backdrop, or too many technical difficulties to enjoy the Performing Artists. No system is ever too perfect, but I believe there are definitely enough people who genuinely care about the Art.

How long have you been creating and what made you start?
I’ll give the cliché answer: I’ve been creating since I was a kid, like 5 years old. But really, i was living in a really bad neighborhood in Haiti and my mom didn’t want me hanging around, so she bought me a black board and chalk. I would get to draw when I was done with school stuff. And that’s when I really got into drawing. But I probably only really took it mega seriously back in 2013 studying Fine Arts at FIU; I was going through a breakup and was just painting a lot and trying to find my identity as an artist and what I wanted to say. I started getting into small shows and selling my work back then too.

Your biggest influences.
I get influenced by just about everything. I’m obsessed with artists like Jean Michel Basquiat, George Condo, Keith Haring, Philippe Guston, Egon Schiele, and any art that’s edgy and thought provoking. Going to shows and talking to other local artists like me shape what I experiment with and how I market myself. I’m also really into music so that plays a part in my artistic style; Roy Ayers, Childish Gambino, Tribe called Quest, Tyler the Creator, Kanye West just to name a few.
Working on South Beach and the people there also influence how I view and use colors.

Pros/Cons to being an artist:
The biggest pro to being an artist is that you get to tell people you’re an artist. It helps to have this personal mediative asset. It gives purpose, you get the responsibility to be the voice of your social group. You also get to add your own value to your work. We spend most of our lives being told our worth, but you have a lot more control over how much your Art is worth. Learning to add value to yourself and what you create can be challenging and brutal sometimes, but it builds character. However, it’s hard to find the right network of people to help you market yourself and sell at the right value when you’re an emerging artist. Another con is that you undeniably gotta have like 2 other jobs to sustain yourself if you’re at an entry level in the industry . The biggest con is the harsh truth that the average person just doesn’t care much about owning Art so your target audience is limited. Not to say they won’t like it and be drawn to it, but buying Art is still a luxurious investment. It’s just not for everyone. But good news is that Art is always reinventing and redefining itself in a social context.

In 5 words, describe your work.
Alternative, Colorful, Experimental, Surreal, Twisted.

What makes you different from other artists in your field?
My Art relies more on the viewer experiencing it rather than deciphering what it means. People often get too lost in looking for meanings that aren’t there so I try to save them the goose chase. I don’t want to be preachy or overly political, I don’t need the sympathy either, and I definitely hate having my Art be defined primarily by a label like Black or Haitian Art. My Art is about what is seen and how you can connect to the story it tells, keeping in mind that what is seen isn’t always all there is to a story.

What has been the hardest part about getting your name out there?
Inconsistency on my part mostly, I realize that I don’t put in as much work as I should. There’s also establishing my value as an Artist, and surrounding myself with the right people.

Hobbies outside of your craft:
I’ve been dabbling with producing music and rapping, I approach it like my paintings. Also, starting this month I’ll be teaching mixed media to kids at an Art studio.

Your next project:
I wanna go beyond just painting. I want to write and direct a couple short films, create the soundtrack for them, and make a series of paintings to go with the project. For now I’m experimenting with painting on found objects to create a series of characters.


CONTACT THE ARTIST

INSTAGRAM @edwaffle
INSTAGRAM @sosoportraits

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